We rarely get to talk about the Z4, mainly due to the reason sales of the soft-top roadster have been poor. Because of dwindling customer demand, BMW hasn't bothered updating the two-seater sports car, knowing it wouldn't be worth the hassle. However, the small rear-wheel-drive machine with an electrically deployable fabric roof will still go through the typical Life Cycle Impulse.
For the first time, our spies have spotted the Z4 LCI out and about. Even though the prototype's body was fully camouflaged, we're not expecting any major changes. In fact, the only modification noticeable is at the front where the bumper has been redesigned, but nothing to write home about. BMW left the headlights and taillights exposed since they've been borrowed from the current car. It's unclear whether more evolved test vehicles will have updates to the lighting clusters.
2023 BMW Z4 first spy photos
Although our spies couldn't take a peek inside, some of the attached spy shots show the prototype had the Z4’s current dashboard design. In other words, the sporty roadster was still stuck with the old iDrive 7 rather than switching to the new setup with side-by-side screens. Traditionalists will argue that's all for the better as retaining the current layout means the facelifted Z4 will keep the separate HVAC controls rather than being swallowed by the touchscreen.
Why isn't BMW giving the Z4 its latest iDrive 8? For the same reason why the design tweaks will be kept down to a minimum – the return on investment wouldn't be enough considering the convertible's sales are weak. In an attempt to rejuvenate demand, it is believed a manual gearbox will be offered for the six-cylinder engine (M40i) as opposed to today when only the smaller four-pot mill comes with a clutch pedal. Such a move would follow Toyota's decision of introducing a Supra 3.0 with a stick shift.
According to people familiar with BMW's agenda, the Z4 LCI will enter production in November. If that's true, it means we're only a few months away from its official premiere. The G29 model as it's known among enthusiasts will reportedly cease to exist in October 2025 when Magna Steyr will end production at its Graz plant in Austria, with no direct replacement in sight.
As a matter of fact, BMW is believed to be slimming down its convertible offerings by merging the two-door 4 Series and 8 Series two-door models into a resurrected 6 Series as early as 2026. The oddball 6 GT still offered in some markets could disappear while the 8 Series Gran Coupe is rumoured to survive.